The CalArts World Music and Dance Festival brings an eclectic mix of West African drumming, song and dance, Persian, Middle Eastern and Hindustani music, Balinese and Javanese gamelans, and crossover works that link global music traditions to The Wild Beast this weekend, beginning this afternoon at 4 pm. The outdoor concerts feature a number of special guests, including drummer and dancer Sulley Imoro and kogiri virtuoso SK Kakraba, both from Ghana, the world’s leading Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo and Javanese dancer Baghawan Ciptoning.
The weekend’s program:
Friday, May 2, 2014
- The Persian Ensemble, 4 pm
The Persian Ensemble is a large student group guided by Houman Pourmehdi that features a mixed instrumentation of western and Persian instruments. The ensemble will perform masterworks from the Persian tradition and features special guests Yungchen Lhamo, the world’s leading Tibetan singer; Pirayeh Pourafar, tar; Alireza Shahmohammadi, vocals; and the Lian Ensemble.
- Balinese Music & Dance, 8:30 pm
The island of Bali, also known as the island of a thousand temples, is renowned for its rich traditions and an astonishing array of vibrant art forms, and an amazing diversity of music ensembles and dance genres. The performance will feature CalArts Balinese Gamelan Burat Wangi (Fragrant Offering), a large modern bronze gamelan orchestra called Gong Kebyar. Kebyar, which means sudden blaze or flare-up, refers to both music and dance genres. The music repertoire includes a blending of old and new within a complex musical structure known as kreasi baru (new creation). The performance will feature a new creation of Legong (the most popular Balinese dance style) namely Legong Supraba Duta, performed by 5 dancers. The concert is directed by Nyoman Wenten and Dance Director Nanik Wenten.
Saturday, May 3, 2014
- CalArts World Percussion Ensemble, 12 pm
The CalArts World Percussion Ensemble is an ongoing experimental forum for bringing together the percussion, drumming and world music at CalArts, bridging cultures and musical ideas, and creating an entirely new work for percussion consisting of both highly fixed compositions and extended improvisations. It was founded by John Bergamo; and led by Randy Gloss and Houman Pourmehdi.
- The Student Indian Ensemble, 4:30 pm
The CalArts North Indian Ensemble, featuring top student musicians under the direction of Aashish Khan, will perform a program of exciting compositions and arrangements either within or honoring the North Indian Classical tradition.
- North Classical Indian Music, 8 pm
A concert of classical North Indian music with performances by the CalArts Tabla Ensemble under the direction of Swapan Chaudhuri and Randy Gloss. Then, two legendary musicians of international acclaim—CalArts World Music faculty members Swapan Chaudhuri, tabla, and Aashish Khan, sarode—will create a unique, transformative musical experience. Specific program content, Raag (melodic mode) and Taal (Indian rhythm cycles) will be announced by these masters from the stage.
Sunday, May 4, 2014
- Javanese Music & Dance, 1 pm
Gamelan music has been appreciated and admired by many western composers such as Lou Harrison, John Cage, Colin McPhee, Pierre Boulez, and Benjamin Britten to name justa few. A gamelan ensemble is a set of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums, flutes, bowed and plucked instruments, tuned and set together as a distinct entity. The concert features CalArts Javanese Gamelan Kyai Doro Dasih (“The Honorable Dream Come True”), a beautiful set of Javanese instruments, performing traditional and contemporary pieces as well as accompanying dance. The dance performance features a new choreographed dance drama based on Panji cycle, of the Javanese epic. The performance directed by Djoko Walujo and Nanik Wenten dance director, and special guest dancer Baghawan Ciptoning.
- African Music & Dance, 7 pm
The CalArts African Music and Dance Ensemble, under the direction of Beatrice Lawluvi and Andrew Grueschow, will perform traditional repertoire from the Ewe and Dagomba people of Ghana, West Africa. This year, visiting artist Sulley Imoro, an exceptional drummer and dancer from Tamale, Ghana, will join the ensemble. This year’s performance will feature students, alumni, and faculty performing a unique selection of significant pieces from both language groups in honor of the retirement of Beatrice Lawluvi. Please join us for a special evening of drumming, singing, and dancing!!
Admission is free but reservations are requested. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Above, we posted a video of Baghawan Ciptoning dancing and below is a video of SK Kakraba playing kogiri at the Wisteria Blossom garden party in Los Angeles last year.